Tuesday, 29 November 2011

more pencils

I just added this box of pencils to my shop. Wrapped with an engine diagram from a wonderful but tatty vintage encyclopaedia .

Monday, 28 November 2011

I'm still using up my 2 metres of fabric

I've had my Toyota sewing machine since I got married some 20 or so years ago. It was bought with wedding present money from my grandfather. It is still working fine and I don't desire another - (except for maybe the old hand cranked Singer machine that was my grandmothers!! - My mum looks after that for now)
I have been enjoying using this ticking fabric and am managing to squeeze quite a few projects out of the 2 metres that I bought. 
I thought - what if the sewing machine fancied itself as a Singer - so I embellished with a Citrasolv transfer. I wasn't sure which one I liked best so I have one on either side!
I think it looks rather grand now - well certainly compared to the ripped plastic cover it was wearing last week!
I still have some fabric left...there will be more projects. I am determined to use every last centimetre!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Just how far will 2 metres go?

Hi there! I've just finished making a loose cover for this comfortable chair we use at the computer desk. I had ordered 2 metres of lovely upholstery quality ticking fabric for another project, but when it arrived the colour was darker than I expected so it didn't work for my original intended project. It is a dark indigo stripe, but really looks so dark it is almost black. It is gorgeous weight fabric to work with and I thought it would be perfect for this chair which was starting to look a bit grubby.
The photo does not show all the dirt- just as well! This chair is a Laura Ashley dining chair I bought at auction a few years ago for £1 ! It had a navy blue slipcover on it, but it shrunk badly when I washed it - and I never liked it that much anyway, so we have been using it in it's natural state- perfect for picking up dirty marks!
The ticking fabric frays quite bad so I decided to buy some bias binding and cover all the internal seams. Nothing like making hard work for yourself. I have to say I did a really bad job with the seam covering- not neat at all, but they are covered and they won't fray now, and who is going to see them anyway - oh oh! I just showed you, that was silly!!!
I only had enough in my purse to buy 2 metres of bias binding tape and it was JUST enough. I only had a tiny bit over. Phew!
Doing upholstery is a bit like childbirth! It's a bit of a struggle and sometimes you don't even think you'll get there, but once it is over, you forget all the hassles and pain and are chuffed to bits with your new baby! I'm delighted with mine!
Now I have some fabric left over...I have some plans...
I'm going to cover this seat I bought last week at auction for £2. It had a little woodworm, but I have treated it now. It's a lovely solid made chair.
And if there is enough fabric left after that, I am going to make a cover for my sewing machine. The horrible plastic one that it came with (some 20 years ago) is beginning to fall to bits. It needs something cute to replace it.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Have suitcase...will travel!

 I just spent a morning wrapping pencils! I think I'm all mod podged out now. I'll get onto a different project next week :-)
I made two cute little suitcase matchboxes for world map pencils. It seemed fitting. 
Have a great weekend, and if you are travelling...be careful...it's a jungle out there!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Making foiled flower decorations

Do you like the effect of these foil decorations on my greetings card? When you see them in person, they look like they have been foil printed onto the card because they are very smooth. Or perhaps they could even be peel offs. But no, they were much cheaper to make than that.
They started life as a roll of 3m Aluminium tape. The kind you use for DIY. All you need then are some flower punches. I've used my Tonic Studios flower punches here. 
All you need to do is punch out a few flowers and carefully peel off the backing paper- this is a bit fiddly- but worth it. Then apply to your card or scrapbook page smoothing it out carefully. Then use the bottom of a glass and rub in circular motion over the flower to burnish it to your page- this removes any catchy bits. For the finishing touch use a sharpish pencil and draw in lines and designs however you want the flower to look. I think the finished result is very satisfying.
For this one I used one of my Petal Pairs punches and a heart punch to make a leaf shape.
Believe me, you can get a whole lot of flowers out of one roll of tape. And you can use so many different punch shapes with this technique. Just try to keep to ones that are not too fiddly. 
Have fun, and let me know if you try this. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Free Playing Card Box Template

Out of necessity, I made a template for a box to fit a pack of playing cards. These are nice cards, but the box was beginning to fall apart. I thought I would share the template with you. If you bought some quality playing cards you could make a special personalised box and it would make a thoughtful gift. 
Of course, you don't have to use it for giving playing cards in. It would work equally well for jewellery or any other small gift . 
I used a spare information card to decorate the top of my box. This was at the suggestion of my 5 year old! She does have some smart ideas !
I used a circle punch to take a chunk out of the sides of the base of the box, to help get the cards out. But you can also do this on the lid of the box- that is a more normal thing to do.
The template should be printed out onto the reverse side of your card. it is made to fit A4 card. Then cut on the solid lines and score the dotted lines. Glue the tabs to the inner side first and then fold over all the flaps and glue. Hopefully you'll be able to work it out. Let me know if there are any problems and I'll try and sort them. 
Because I have uploaded a PDF file, I have used a file share system. This is the first time I have done this so please let me know if you have any difficulty accessing the file. 
So without further ado...the link to the template can be found Here

Thursday, 10 November 2011

New Journal...

I've just listed this sweet little journal on Etsy. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Making a towel fancy and showing off my shower room

I have just finished sticking a bit of wallpaper in our shower room. I wish I had photos from 'before' but I never thought to take any. Believe me, it was not pretty. Mismatching ...well everything was mismatching. And the tile effect wallpaper and flowery tiles that were in the shower...and the shower enclosure...and the lighting...yeuch!

As we have our house on the market now - I thought I would dress up some hand towels to put out for viewings - should anyone ever come see our house! The market is so very slow right now and it is the wrong time of year...but I know it only takes one buyer. Anyhoo...here's how to jazz up a plain white boring towel - mine was from Asdas. Choose a towel that has a plain woven strip along one edge...this makes it easier to sew to.

 Find a strip of fabric a little wider than the towel and a little longer than the depth of the woven strip. Using your iron, turn the raw edges over to make the dimensions match the strip on your towel and press neatly. Then all you need to do is pin in place and stitch either using a machine or by hand. I did mine by hand so that the stitching is invisible, and also because at that moment my machine was in for repair! 

So I placed the towel in the afore mentioned shower room and decided that the room is still looking a bit bare, so I took another scrap of fabric and rustled up a quick pelmet. 
There, I think that looks better. I'll play around with accessories a bit now.
I'm happy with that now I think. I am pleased with the wallpaper. I'm not really a big wallpaper fan, but the wall needed more than a bit of paint. It has the look of dragged paintwork in a pale grey. It finishes the room off nicely. 
And seeing as how I am showing you this room I have to mention the loo roll holder. There was hardly any room to place one here so I had a hunt on the internet for one that I liked that was set into the wall. The only ones I could find were in the US and I didn't want to pay large shipping charges, so I got my dad to make me one. He did a fantastic job don't you think? It fits in perfectly and is unobtrusive but still looks stylish. Thanks Dad!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

winter beach trip

On Saturday it was a crisp and sunny November day so we went to Nairn beach. We always ask ourselves why we don't go more often because as soon as we arrive and smell the salt air and hear the crashing waves, all stress disappears.
Splashing in the sea in your wellies is great fun, and all was going well until she underestimated the depth !!! Brrr! Just as well I brought a change of clothing.
Standing atop the dunes looking out to sea...nothing but beach for miles and miles.
You might just be able to spot me lurking beneath the sand dune here. I hate seeing myself in photos, so that's about all you're going to get for now :-)
Sigh!  I hope I can go back there soon.

Friday, 4 November 2011

making a throw...

I promised you I would show you how to make a throw from a cheap store bought fleece throw and some toile fabric the same size. The reason for using cheap store bought fleece was I figured that it was not as expensive as fleece fabric per metre - it would probably cost twice as much. The fleece cost me less than £3. The toile I had was a remnant so was not expensive either.  I have made this one a birthday gift for a friend. She doesn't read this blog - I hope!
Before you do anything to your fabric, you can embellish the fleece side- this is optional. I did an applique in felt and embroidered my friend's name. I chose a pheasant because I was looking at one in the forest at the back of my house while I was trying to decide what to do.
Once that's done,  pin the right sides together of your fleece and fabric. My fleece throw had hems- some don't, if they have hems, just keep your line of sewing in a bit so that you can lose the hem when you trim.
I used my newly serviced machine - why did I wait so long, it's running like a dream now! Sew right the way round leaving a gap of about 8 inches so you can turn the fabric. Trim the excess fabric off once you have sewn round it.
Turn the right way around...
...and press carefully.
Now sew twice round leaving about a 2 inch space between each border. I use a bit of masking tape stuck on the sewing plate of my machine to line up the fabric to. I used brown for my top thread and white for my bottom thread.
Don't forget to oversew the gap. 
And that is pretty much it. And if she is in the mood for fleecy and cosy she can use this side.
And if she is in the mood for a spot of toile, she can use the other.
I hope she likes it, and I hope I have inspired you.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

How I did the fabric transfer

I'm posting over at It's a Creative World today on how I did the fabric transfer for the cover of my most recent journal. If you want to know how I did it, then check it out.